A captive is something that has been captured and can’t escape, like a prisoner of war or a panda in a zoo.

To be captured on the battlefield, and held captive is not so great, but captive doesn’t always describe things that are completely bad, like its synonym, hostage. If you fall in love you might say your heart is being held captive. Ideas that entrance you could be called captivating. Sometimes endangered animals are brought into captivity in order to breed larger populations, and then released into the wild.

Definitions of captive

n a person who is confined; especially a prisoner of war

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con, convict, inmate, yard bird, yardbird
a person serving a sentence in a jail or prison
detainee, political detainee
some held in custody
hostage, surety
a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms
a person who is interned
political prisoner
someone who is imprisoned because of their political views
POW, prisoner of war
a person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war
a prisoner serving a term of life imprisonment
a convict who is considered trustworthy and granted special privileges
Type of:
unfortunate, unfortunate person
a person who suffers misfortune

n an animal that is confined

Type of:
animal, animate being, beast, brute, creature, fauna
a living organism characterized by voluntary movement

n a person held in the grip of a strong emotion or passion

Type of:
emotional person
a person subject to strong states of emotion

adj being in captivity

confined, imprisoned, jailed
hampered and not free; not able to act at will

adj giving or marked by complete attention to

absorbed, engrossed, enwrapped, intent, wrapped
(often followed by `to') giving care or attention

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